Before the third Egyptian revolution in early 2011, the Muslim Brotherhood was considered the only real opposition capable of challenging the hegemonic government of the Egyptian regime, owing to the popular support the organisation enjoyed; much greater than that of the opposition parties. However, change has not come through the Brotherhood, but through the Egyptian people themselves. In all these years that the Brotherhood has existed on the Egyptian political stage, neither its significant logistic and economic resources nor its dominant role in opposition politics have contributed to any change in the country’s power structure. The aim of this article is to show that the policies adopted by the Muslim Brotherhood in their interaction with the Hosni Mubarak government – both when they were in confrontation and in phases of accommodation – have only helped to maintain the status quo, and that they have, therefore, constituted a centripetal force with respect to the regime. This analysis may also offer a few clues as to the organisation’s future behaviour.
Key words: Egypt, Islamism, Muslim Brotherhood, Mubarak, regime
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